Entries by Andrea

Finding Moments of Stillness in Seeding Season

The Stigma-Free Society recently spoke with Roberta Galbraith, whose family are 6th generation farmers running a grain, pulse, and oilseed operation. Given the stress and high workload of seeding season, we asked Roberta what kind of strategies she and her family use for winding down at the end of the day and finding stillness in […]

The Benefits of Animals on Mental Health

If you have pets or live with animals on the farm, you probably know that animals can be an incredible form of emotional support. Pets can have many benefits for your mental health, including increasing your physical activity, reducing anxiety through providing companionship and affection, boosting self-confidence and adding structure to your day. In rural […]

Understanding Climate Change Anxiety in Rural Communities

Climate change can impact people’s mental health in many ways. Natural disasters such as droughts and forest fires can cause displacement, economic stress, and impacts to livelihood. But climate change can also fuel feelings of uncertainty, guilt, despair and anxiety. Recently, the Oxford English Dictionary included a new word: eco-anxiety, which refers to people’s anxiety […]

Sleep Hygiene and Mental Wellness

When it comes to sleep, there are many benefits to living in rural communities, such as less traffic noise and artificial lights. Those involved in agricultural careers are more likely to sleep and wake with the cycle of the sun, which can be helpful for maintaining consistent sleep routines. Yet according to the Sleep Association, […]

The Value of Support From Someone Who Has Been There

The Following Is From An Interview With Robyn Priest Being supported by others who have shared your struggles and know what it’s like is the foundation of peer support. For those living in rural and agricultural communities, the Stigma Free Society has partnered with Robyn Priest LIVE YOUR TRUTH to offer peer support worker training […]

Addressing Substance Use Stigma in Rural Communities

Matt Begg works for the Umbrella Society, which is an organization supporting those who use substances, and he has generously shared important insights and information about addressing stigma and supporting those with substance use challenges. Can you describe your role with the Umbrella Society and your passion behind this work? I work in Umbrella Society’s […]

The Impact of Stigma on Mental Illness

Stigma has a terrible impact on mental illness. Stigma is based on stereotypes and assumptions about our differences. Characteristics such as race, gender identity, a disability, mental illness or any other noticeable difference can be directly targeted, and often unintentionally. Stigma can affect all people, but especially people from marginalized groups. Stigma can lead to […]

Tips To Help You Manage Different Perspectives

It may seem like a difficult task in today’s landscape to work with or be around others who have differing opinions, beliefs and behaviours than you. However, suppose you can find a way to look past those differences and make them work for you. If that were the case, you could have a powerful team, […]

Navigating Financial Stress in Farming

The farming industry is particularly vulnerable to financial fluctuations and uncertainty, which can be a major contributor to stress and mental health challenges for farming families. The Stigma-Free Society spoke with Gerry Friesen, also known as the “Recovering Farmer”, about managing the financial stress involved in farming. Gerry is a stress expert and public speaker […]

On Peer Support Work and its Effectiveness in Rural Communities

Rural communities are a unique context for mental healthcare. In rural and agricultural communities across North America, there is a mental health crisis due to the lack of resources that exist, and stigma discourages people from getting help. Rural communities experience higher rates of suicide, addiction, and substance use. Rural residents are more likely to […]